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WASHINGTON (AP) - The pink and white cherry blossoms coloring the nation's capital began with trees that have survived for a century.

It was 100 years ago this month when first lady Helen Taft and the wife of Japan's ambassador planted two Yoshino cherry trees on the banks of Washington's Tidal Basin. They were the first to be planted out of a gift of 3,000 trees from city of Tokyo.

Remarkably, the original pair still stands, while many others planted in 1912 died long ago.

Arborists and horticulturists at the National Park Service have taken special care of the cherry trees. And scientists at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington have created hundreds of clones of the oldest trees to keep the original line of cherry trees alive.

BRETT ZONGKER
Associated Press

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